Security and Lock-In

  • Tom Lookabaugh
  • Douglas C. Sicker
Part of the Advances in Information Security book series (ADIS, volume 12)

Conclusion

The cases of set-top boxes in the U. S. cable industry, video games and their cartridges, and printers and their cartridges all illustrate ways in which security technology can play an enhanced role in lock-in of customers by their suppliers through creation of substantial switching costs. Openness of technology, normally an inhibitor of lock-in, can be argued against in the case of security on the basis of a presumed increase in security by keeping details of the security system secret and proprietary. Whether open or not, security technology can be used to make permissible reverse engineering equivalent to an infeasible problem of breaking a cryptographically strong algorithm. And what might appear to be permissible reverse engineering may be conflated with an effort to enable illegitimate piracy and rendered illegal. The extra potential for security technology as a locus of lock-in raises its importance in the strategic considerations of both customers and vendors and for legislators and regulators. Customers will want to consider how to reduce the effect of lock-in, particularly on access to innovation; vendors will want to consider how to increase lock-in where possible, and policy makers will want to consider where the public interest motivates efforts to intervene to mitigate lock-in.

Keywords

Switching Cost Information Security Reverse Engineering Security Protocol Advance Encryption Standard 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Lookabaugh
    • 1
  • Douglas C. Sicker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Colorado at BoulderUSA

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